AFT pioneered agriculture conservation easements, helped start and train agricultural land trusts, and advocated for farmland protection funding in state legislatures.
- AFT's advocacy efforts resulted in robust state funding for farmland protection. AFT led the advocacy effort resulting in Massachusetts and Connecticut each devoting $10 million a year from a bond authorization to protect farmland. AFT supported a 2014 bond initiative in Rhode Island that provides $3 million each year for the purchase of development rights. Moving forward, AFT's advocacy efforts will focus on restoring funding for New Hampshire's Agricultural Lands Preservation Program.
- New funding mechanisms for farmland protection. AFT helped to develop the legislation for Connecticut's innovative Community Investment Act (CIA) and then led the coalition that successfully advocated for its approval, raising millions of dollars for the state's Farmland Preservation Program; to support dairy farms; to reinvest in agricultural infrastructure; and to help match farmland sellers and seekers. AFT encouraged Maine to establish and then implement their Voluntary Municipal Farm Support Program, giving town governments a new tool to protect local farmland in exchange for reduced property taxes.
- Developed a model agricultural conservation easement for Connecticut and trained local land trusts and town officials in how to implement it. We will take on a similar project in New Hampshire in 2015.
- Advocated for "regional equity" in the federal Farm Bill, ensuring minimum funding to meet demand for federal conservation programs and bringing millions in federal conservation funds to the region.